South Africa’s retail pharmacy groups Dis-Chem and Clicks will soon offer Covid-19 vaccines at their retail outlets.
Clicks has received approval from the National Department of Health (DOH) to offer 47 vaccination sites nationally, with a further 520 awaiting approval for registration.
“Clicks has considerable expertise in the delivery of vaccinations and is proud to support the National Department of Health with vaccinating the nation,” says Rachel Wrigglesworth, Clicks chief commercial officer. “Our healthcare professionals have received specialist training on handling and administering of the Covid-19 vaccine and are ready to administer vaccinations safely in accordance with the DOH eligibility guidelines.”
This forms part of phase 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout programme for people over 60, those over 18 with co-morbidities and essential workers with high-risk jobs.
Clicks will be offering the vaccinations as per the DOH supply, starting with the Pfizer vaccine. The Clicks Group’s wholesale division United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD) will store the Pfizer vaccines and transport them to selected Clicks Pharmacies.
Individuals who have registered on the DOH’s Electronic Vaccination Data System’s (EVDS) online portal will receive a text message from EVDS with a unique vaccination voucher for presentation at the vaccination site, along with their ID and medical aid details, if applicable. It is important to note that the DOH will determine the exact vaccination site and time and communicate this via text message.
Dis-Chem Pharmacies has confirmed its readiness for Covid-19 vaccination roll-out. “We are well-positioned to commence with the vaccination roll-out aligned to government timelines, and we have prepared our teams to work at full capacity if supply from government is consistent,” says CEO Ivan Saltzman.
Dis-Chem has so far secured 32 dedicated vaccination sites situated nationwide at key locations, 11 of which will be ready to commence vaccinations in the week of 24 May. These dedicated sites will be able to administer an average of 600 vaccinations per day, and this can be extended with the addition of Dis-Chem’s in-store clinics, with each store capable of administering up to 50 shots daily. Should government stock be readily available, the group will be able to vaccinate approximately 800,000 people each month.
Dis-Chem’s vaccine roll-out will be linked to government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), which enables electronic registration, co-ordinates accredited vaccination sites and supply of vaccines, enables a pre-booking and vaccination system, and records who is and isn’t vaccinated, as well as any information that will help the department with planning, execution and monitoring of the vaccination.
Because the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, Dis-Chem will have a two-week advance view on bookings to ensure that the second dosage is administered timeously.